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Gabbo3 Feb 2, 2011 9:49 AM

Starter camera - Canon SX130IS?
Hi there,

I've never really tried photography before but I've been wanting to learn it. And I mean I really want to learn about it, about how to control my photographs using aperture and ISO and depth of field and all those other things I don't (yet) understand.

So, in that vein, I'm looking for a starter camera. I'd love to be able to get a DSLR but it's a little bit out of my price range, I'm not really looking to spend more than $250, plus I'm in Canada so everything's that much more expensive.

The camera I keep seeing recommended is the Canon SX130IS. Can anyone vouch for it? What's most important to me is that it's a half-decent camera with enough manual control that I can start to learn how to control my photos. It seems to be either between that or the Fuji FinePix s1800.

Any advice/recommendations? Thanks!

mtclimber Feb 2, 2011 11:48 AM

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The Canon SX130 is a much better choice than the Fuji S1800. By and large folk who purchase the S1800 are unhappy with the image quality and quickly get rid of the camera, and/or move on to a new and different camera, loosing their investment in the S-1800.

As both camera have have about identical zooms, I am assuming that a long zoom is a requirement. The SX130 is a much more convenient size and has better ergonomics. If you can consider less zoom the possible choice will become much wider.

If the long zoom is a necessity, then spending a bit more, around $50 to $60 more than the S1800, or around $40 more than the SX130, on the Panasonic FZ35 will get you longer zoom, an EVF viewfinder, a much better camera, with even better image quality and a camera that has received numerous great reviews.

In my opinion my first choice would be the Panasonic FZ35, followed by the Canon SX130 if camera size is not an issue. If camera size is an issue, then the choice is the smaller, more compact SX130. However, do keep in mind that the SX130 does not have an EVF view finder.

I have attached Steve's Review Summary for the Panasonic FZ35. We do suggest that you read the full review.

Sarah Joyce

mtclimber Feb 2, 2011 11:50 AM

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Here is Steve's Review Summary of the Canon SX 130. We do suggest that you read the entire review.

Sarah Joyce

mtclimber Feb 2, 2011 11:52 AM

1 Attachment(s)

Here is Steve's Review Summary of the Fuji S1800. We do suggest that you read the entire review.

Sarah Joyce

Gabbo3 Feb 2, 2011 12:32 PM

Hi mtclimber, thanks so much for the help.

I've been looking at the Panasonic FZ35, and while it does seem like an excellent camera, it is a little bit outside of my price range. On the difference between the Canon and the Panasonic is only ~$40, however neither of those ship to Canada, which is unfortunate. The FZ35 would likely end up costing me close to $100 more than the SX130IS (assuming I can't find a deal). Is the difference in quality that drastic?

With that being said, long zoom is absolutely not a requirement: all I'm looking for is a half-decent camera with manual controls to help me to learn photography properly. Also, the 720p video recording of the SX130IS is a huge bonus for me, as I play music and need some way to record myself (obviously not optimal, but better than my current setup of an iPhone!) How important is the presence of a viewfinder?

I'd also like to add that, assuming I enjoy photography, I will probably be ugrading to an entry-level DSLR as soon as I can feasibly afford it, so I don't need the greatest camera in the world or one that will last forever, just one of good value. Thanks!

mtclimber Feb 2, 2011 7:16 PM


It looks like the SX130 then is your logical choice. Amazon has it at $192.00, and on E-Bay it is running $155.00 to 175.00 plus shipping. So there is not much saving to be had at E-Bay.

Sarah Joyce

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